Organizations and institutions can and should try to bring individuals together, but the real strength of a community is its people, their empathy, and their relationships. People who connect with and support others every day are often better prepared to protect themselves and help their neighbors, which can include vulnerable populations, in an emergency. The time and effort you put into building community today (e.g., volunteerism and blood donation) are investments made in personal health preparedness and community health resilience for tomorrow.
Community health resilience measures the ability of people, businesses, governments, nonprofit groups, and faith-based organizations to work together to create systems that can withstand, adapt to, and recover from a public health emergency. The CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response helps to build resilient communities through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement. Since 2002, PHEP has provided funding, guidance, and technical assistance that helps state, local, and territorial public health departments prepare for and respond to public health threats.